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Naturopathic Treatments For Urinary Incontinence In Women, Part 2

Naturopathic Treatments For Urinary Incontinence In Women, Part 2 | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

Have you ever felt embarrassed due to having issues with your bladder?

You should know that you’re not alone.

In fact, over 3.3 million Canadians deal with urinary incontinence (UI).

UI involves losing control of your bladder and unintentionally releasing urine.

There are various different types of UI.

Each of these types of UI may have different causes and different symptoms associated with them.

Due to this, they may involve different types of treatments.

Although UI can occur in anyone, it’s more common in women, especially pregnant women and older women (those over the age of 50).

Today, we will be focusing on urinary incontinence being experienced by women.

RELATED: Naturopathic Solutions For Women’s Health

Women who experience UI may experience many symptoms that could be physical or psychological in nature.

Some of the harms of UI are most noticeable in affecting one’s social life and psychological wellbeing.

UI can cause you anxiety because it’s embarrassing and can lead to anxiety over what could happen if you lose your sense of bladder control.

Living with uncertainty regarding when you might accidentally urinate can be anxiety inducing, and limit your choice of activities.

You can get help for the anxiety that comes along with your UI by following along with some naturopathic solutions for anxiety.

Thankfully, there are variety of treatments to help manage UI, and the conditions that can cause it.

As a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga, I can diagnose you with UI and recommend various effective natural treatments.

In this article, I’ll discuss what diagnosis involves, and what therapies are available.

RELATED: Naturopathic Solutions For Urinary Incontinence Part 1

Diagnosing Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is usually diagnosed by a health care professional.

They’ll look into numerous things to determine whether or not you may have urinary incontinence.

Below is a list of the various things they may look at.

Your Medical History

One way to diagnosis UI is to look into your medical history.

This is because certain symptoms and conditions may indicate an increased likelihood of UI.

If you book an appointment with us at the Mindful Healing Clinic, your naturopathic doctor will ask you about the following:

  • Symptoms
  • Medications
  • Bowel function
  • Past pelvic operations
  • History of childbirth
  • Urination and urine leakage patterns

It’s helpful to know about your risk factors as well.

Certain factors may increase your risk of experiencing urinary incontinence as well, including:

Your naturopathic doctor may also ask you about your bladder activity to get a sense of whether it’s abnormal or not based on your demographic factors.

You may find it beneficial to keep a diary of bladder activity for a few days before your appointment and record information such as:

  • Activity preceding leak, such as lifting or coughing
  • Frequency of accidental leakage
  • Frequency of urination, and amount of urine released
  • Presence or absence of strong need to urinate before leak
  • Quantity and types of drinks consumed

Physical Exam

Your naturopathic doctor may also want to examine your organs to see if any organs in your urinary system have issues with their structure or functioning.

This can be done through many different tests, such as:

Certain conditions during these tests could indicate UI.

For instance, urine leakage during the cough stress test could indicate stress incontinence.

These examinations might suffice for diagnosis, or you may need further testing.

Diagnostic Tests

If your physical exam such as the one above are inconclusive, there are other tests which can determine whether you have urinary incontinence.

These tests include:

  • Urinalysis, where a urine sample will be collected and tested for proteins or blood, which will help expose diabetes or kidney problems
  • Urine culture, which occurs when urinalysis indicates the presence of urinary tract infection, and is a urine sample to test for and identify bacteria
  • Urodynamic testing, where different procedures may be used in this type of testing, some of them will involve the insertion of a catheter

RELATED: Naturopathic Solutions For Kidney Stones

important treatments for urinary incontinence | Mindful Healing | Mississauge Naturopathic Doctor

Naturopathic Treatments For Urinary Incontinence

Once we have a diagnosis, there are several courses of treatment available to you.

Behavioral and lifestyle changes, bladder training, pelvic floor exercises, urgency suppression, and smoking cessation are an important part of treating urinary incontinence.

Pelvic floor exercises may include kegel exercise, which can help strengthen your pelvic floor.

Be sure not to overdo it though, as you could damage your pelvic floor if you do.

Different types of incontinence have various causes and various interventions specific to them.

Let’s take a look at each one individually.

Stress Incontinence

Stress incontinence is caused by poor closure of the bladder.

This typically happens while you’re running or coughing.

If you cough more frequently, like from allergies or asthma, you may be at a higher risk for stress incontinence.

RELATED: Naturopathic Treatment For Allergies
RELATED: Naturopathic Treatment For Asthma

Lifestyle and behavioural changes may reduce the occurrence of stress incontinence by working on the closure of the bladder.

These lifestyle and behavioral changes can include:

  • Limiting liquids before bedtime
  • Reducing intake of bladder irritants like caffeinated or carbonated beverages
  • losing weight, as some studies show obesity may increase your chance of UI, and worsen symptoms, especially in women
  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises or Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles to help it hold urine more effectively by tightening and relaxing the muscles regulating urine release
  • Bladder training, which involves training yourself to use the bathroom at regular intervals and can stretch the bladder and help it store more urine
  • Smoking cessation because smoking may increase coughing, worsen bladder irritation, and the chances of developing stress incontinence

Urgency Incontinence

Urgency incontinence is caused by an overactive bladder, which is the part of your body that holds your urine.

This urge incontinence is experienced as a sudden intense need to urinate, followed by urine leakage.

There are risk factors for urgency incontinence, which include menopause, stroke, pregnancy (especially for women over 40), prostate cancer, and taking antidepressants.

There are various naturopathic treatments that may help to provide treatment for these risk factors, and reduce your risk of UI.

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Possible treatments include:

  • Urgency suppression, which involves training the bladder to maintain control and suppress the urge to urinate
  • Distraction
  • Slow and relaxed breathing
  • Pelvic floor exercises
  • Behavioural and lifestyle changes
  • Bladder training

In cases when natural interventions fail, medications such as antimuscarinics, tricyclic antidepressants and beta-3 agonists can be used.

Other options include botox injections and electrical nerve stimulation.

Overflow Incontinence

In this form of incontinence, you do have an urge to go pee, but when you try to you release only a small amount.

The bladder becomes full because it does not empty like it should.

This may be caused by blockage of the urethra or poor bladder contraction.

Surgery may be needed to remove the blockage.

In the absence of a blockage, a catheter can help empty the bladder.

This type of incontinence may also be caused by a health condition, like multiple sclerosis (an autoimmune disorder).

RELATED: What Is An Autoimmune Disorder

Functional Incontinence

People with functional incontinence are typically aware that they need to urinate, but cannot reach the bathroom.

This could often be due to other health problems or it may be due to someone being in your way and it taking too long to reach the bathroom.

One of the health conditions that may cause functional incontinence is arthritis.

In this survey of 247 different people with arthritis, urinary incontinence was quite common.

38% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 47% of patients with osteoarthritis also experienced functional incontinence.

This is because the pain associated with the disorder may make walking to your washroom difficult.

This type of UI may be helped by wearing protective undergarments, so that you can have protection for those times you cannot make it to the washroom in time to pee.

Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today

Are you experiencing involuntary urination?

Book a FREE urinary incontinence consultation with me, Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, at the Mississauga based Mindful Healing Clinic.

I can help diagnose your UI and figure out a treatment plan that will help you improve and manage your symptoms.

If you want to find out more about urinary incontinence, how it works, and its causes and risk factors, check out our previous article on UI.

Book your appointment with The Mindful Healing Clinic today.

Until next time,

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi, N.D
Mindful Healing Naturopathic Clinic
Mississauga, ON L5M 1L7
(905) 819-8200

Dr. Maria Cavallazzi is a medical doctor from Colombia where she practiced as a family physician for 8 years until she moved to Canada 16 years ago and became a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga.